Canberra school children have named the two tower cranes which will rise over the Australian War Memorial Development Project for the next two years, “Duffy” and “Teddy”.
Duffy is named after Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick’s donkey that he used to transport injured men in Gallipoli during the First World War – because “Duffy is used to doing the heavy lifting”, said Dakota of Neville Bonner Primary School.
The second crane was named Teddy, after Teddy Sheehan VC, Australia’s most recent Victoria Cross recipient, by Lara from St Gregory’s Primary School.
Duffy will be used by Lendlease on the New Anzac Hall site, joining Teddy, operated by Hindmarsh, which has been onsite since December 2022 to deliver the new C.E.W. Bean Building.
As development continues, these machines will be used to move materials and machinery weighing up to 24 tonnes.
Australian War Memorial Executive Program Director Wayne Hitches said the large cranes will tower over the development. “The Lendlease crane has a 75-metre-long horizontal arm and a maximum height of 21.8 metres above the Memorial’s dome,” said Hitches.
The judging panel included veterans and representatives from Lendlease and Hindmarsh, all of whom were impressed by the creativity on display.
“We loved seeing suggestions like Maverik and Unicorn,” Hindmarsh Project Director Nadine O’Keeffe said. “Lots of children suggested their own names or those of their grandparents who may have served in the Defence Force, which really warmed our hearts.”
Australian War Memorial Director Matt Anderson was delighted to see the thought that went into the suggested names.
“To see names entered such as Poppy, Anzac and Biscuit, accompanied by the fantastic colouring-in done by the students made for a great day at the Memorial,” he said. “The Memorial will be telling the stories of modern veterans and it is crucial to be able to involve the next generation in the process.”
The two six-year-olds entered a competition run by the Memorial and the ACT Defence School Mentor Program.
Dakota and Lara’s entries for Duffy and Teddy will be displayed in Poppy’s Café, and they will be invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of Treloar Technology Centre with the Director.
The Memorial is modernising and expanding its galleries to tell Australia’s continuing story of service and sacrifice. Over the past three decades, more than 100,000 Australians have served in war, conflict, peacekeeping, and humanitarian and disaster relief operations around the world.